Office: Scharbauer Hall 2012F
Phone: (817) 257-6405
Jim Riddlesperger, professor, has toiled in the TCU political science department since 1982. Through the years, he has taught a slew of students in a bunch of different courses, though he waxes poetic mostly in the arena of American politics, focusing on the presidency and Texas politics. For his teaching efforts, he has occasionally had the pleasure of receiving awards, including the TCU Honors Professor of the Year, and has never, to his knowledge, been hung in effigy. He knows how lucky he is to share the academic journey with students, many of whom have enjoyed the promise of the pursuit of happiness and built successful careers.
He co-authored Lone Star Leaders: Power and Personality in the Texas Congressional Delegation (TCU Press, 2011), The Austin-Boston Connection: Five Decades of Democratic House Leadership, 1937-1989 (Texas A&M Press, 2009) and Texas Politics (Cengage, 13th edition 2015). He co-edited a collection of works authored by Speaker Jim Wright entitled The Wright Stuff (TCU Press, 2013), Presidential Leadership and Civil Rights Policy (Greenwood, 1995), and edited Special Focus: Balance of Power between Congress and the President (New York: College Board, 2008). He has published an assortment of research articles, chapters in edited books, and encyclopedia entries—more than five dozen at the moment--to keep his mind from wandering too far from reality. His research has filled much needed gaps in the academic literature and might cure, if only temporarily, stubborn cases of insomnia. His record has assured Riddlesperger one of the biggest names in the discipline.
He has served in a number of administrative roles, most notably nine years as department chair, before his promotion to ordinary faculty status. He is a past president of the Southwestern Political Science Association. He has also authored many meaningless memos that have processed the agenda of the university without appreciably stemming the unending flow of such communiques.
A frequent consultant to the news media concerning politics and elections, his commentary has filled what would otherwise be dead time on television, has engaged literally dozens of people on radio, and has provided newsprint that would help line the finest of birdcages. Hopefully, such media contributions, along with frequent presentations to community groups, have had a small salutary effect. He also has masochistic tendencies, serving as Chief Reader to the College Board's AP U.S. Government exam.
His marriage to Dr. Kristina Riddlesperger has given him a lifetime best friend and partner in crime and has gifted him with two adult sons. He has decided life is too short to focus on elevated golf scores since humility is an attribute he has earned in abundance already. Through it all, he is reminded that if education is a serious enterprise, it also must reflect a joie de vivre to make it worthwhile.